of its salvation. it's a part of the three great religions, judaism, christianity. it's a story that's inspired communities across the globe, including me and my fellow americans. in the united states, a nation made up of people who crossed oceans to start anew were naturally drawn to the idea of finding freedom in our land. to african-americans, the story of the exodus was perhaps the central story, the most powerful image about emerging from the grip of bondage to reach for liberty and human dignity, a tale that was carried from slavery through the civil rights movement into today. for generations, this promise helped people weather poverty and persecution while holding on to the hope that a better day was on the horizon. for me personally, growing up in far-flung parts of the world and without firm roots, the story spoke to a yearning within every human being for a home. [ applause ] of course, even as we draw strength from the story of god's will and his gift of freedom expressed on passover, we also know that here on earth we must bear our responsibilities in an imperfect world.